The Houston Fire Department is planning a controlled burn March 22-April 2 at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center at West Loop 610 and Woodway Drive.

This measure helps to prevent naturally occurring wildfires by clearing away debris and vegetation that has dried out and become overgrown.

Fire and park officials are notifying residents of the burn to help assuage fears about smoke in the area. Drivers are encouraged to reduce speed and use headlights when smoke is present. Signs will be posted to direct parkgoers away from the burn sites, according to HFD.

“This proactive approach is the most practical way to reduce dangerous accumulation of combustible fuels and protect our community by reducing the risk of unwanted wildfires in the future," Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said in a news release. “Our wildland firefighting group and emergency operations personnel, in collaboration with our safety partners, will ensure a professional controlled burn operation.”